The Budgerigar Society
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Annual General Meeting 2009
Held at the Budgerigar Society Office, Northampton
on Sunday May 10th
The Budgerigar Society and its members took another confident step forward at this meeting, voting to reduce the size of the General Council from the present 22 members to a modest 14 as from May of 2010. It is felt that this represents better the reduction in the overall number of members, and hopefully reflects in the voting membership a new determination to do more at grass roots level to fulfil the aims of the society in restoring that essential vibrancy into everything that we do to progress the fancy.
It was good to see such a large attendance at the meeting, perhaps reflecting this increased interest, despite the fact that nowadays there are few voting decisions to make, the popular postal ballot attending largely to this. Notwithstanding this fact, a total well in excess of thirty attended, far exceeding the quorum figure – a subject that has often been a worry.
The President, Geoff Capes opened the meeting and welcomed the members present. He went on to say: -
“ “How privileged I have been to be your President during the past year! Personally, it has been very challenging having to balance my time between the love of my hobby with the love of my Sport and the love of my life, and thankfully I have come through it still having all three of them intact – if only just.
Of course I have enjoyed my year in office, visiting clubs and shows around the country and talking to the members about many issues that have regard to our hobby. I have also visited Holland and France in my capacity as a judge and President. (I took Janice Al-Nasser, our past President, on a weekend without Ghalib in tow).
I also succeeded in getting the hobby mentioned in Bargain Hunt – which, incidentally, I won - and also Cash in the Attic.
I believe the highlight of the President’s year is always the Club Show - not because you get to be a Judge within it, but that it is where the society and its members meet and it is always a great pleasure to see people from around the country and the World that you only see once a year. Everyone seems to enjoy themselves, have a lot to say, and best of all have a great time.
The Dinner and Events that surround the Show are always fun and always have lasting memories for many of us and long may it continue.
In general, I believe that the Society is still being run by very capable, elected officers that have great diversity and strength and come from different walks of life. To a man and woman they serve you, the membership, to the best of their abilities - as they are democratically elected to do.
During the past year we, the Society have set new initiatives and new rules have been introduced by the council and I believe we, the membership, will benefit from them in long term and it is my hope that you will support the General Council in its endeavours on your behalf, because we have to act for all the members of the Society and not the few.
I must take this opportunity to welcome all our new members that have joined us over the last year and also remember the members that have passed. Say hello to new club's that have joined us during this year and hope that you all enjoy this fantastic hobby of ours and wish you success, and look forward to meeting you during the coming years.
Yes, I must say my year of office has gone really quickly, but it does not stop there I am filling up my diary all ready with talks and judging engagements for the coming year and will remain fully committed to the committee and to the hobby as long as they want me and as long as I have a function, and now may I take this opportunity to say thanks for the memory in my presidential year and wish the Society well for the future.
Now it gives me great pleasure to invest our President Elect Mr. Bob Francis (from the Valleys) to his new role as our President for the coming year, and I am sure that you will welcome him and his good lady Liz and give him your fullest support in his year of office. Thank you”
Geoff Capes presented Bob Francis with the President’s Chain of Office and said that he hoped he would enjoy his year as President.
Bob replied that he was honoured to be made President and that he will do all he can in the coming year to promote the society. He then performed his first duty as President by presenting Geoff with his Past President’s ribbon.
Dave Hislop was elected as the new Vice-President and the President Elect’s ribbon was presented to him.
RESULT OF BALLOT on PROPOSED RULES CHANGES
A total of 611 votes were cast
2 - A Resolution to allow rule changes to be adopted by a simple majority of the votes cast was defeated by a large margin.
3– Resolution on Size of the General Council, that from 2010 The General Council will consist of not more than fourteen members elected by a postal ballot of the society’s membership. was carried by a substantial majority.
4 - Resolution calling for all exhibits to have been bred and rung by the owner was defeated by a good majority
Rates of Subscription
The rate of Joining Fee and Subscriptions for 2010 were approved as:
Single £23.50 Partners at same address £35.26 Senior & Disabled £18.80 Junior £15.28
This represents an increase of 50p on the single subscription and pro rata on all others, in line with cost odf living increases and reflecting rising costs (fuel,etc)
General Purposes & Finance Committee
Office & General Management Officer R Carr
Publications Officer G Booth
Sponsorship Officer F Wright
Publicity Officer D Herring
Area Society Liaison Officer R Francis
Other committee members G Findlay, D McCallum
Judges Panel &Colour Standards
Judges Panel Officer (inc J T Scheme Co-Ordinator) G A I-Nasser
Colour Standards Officer G Norris
Patronage Officer M Chapman
Other A Woan, M Roberts N Philips, G Capes
(The above committees stand for one year only, until 2010 when the reduced council will take over their duties, and a further election, of all officers, will take place)
Club Show Officer R Simpson
Other J A!-Nasser, W Hough J Alcock, D Dobson
NCA Delegates R Carr, G AI-Nasser, G Booth D Whittaker
WBO Representatives G Norris, Reserve G Findlay
The following members were confirmed as Honorary Life Members in recognition of 40 years unbroken membership:
A Ablitt ( Hadleigh) B Searle (Bridgend) R Crisp (Bishops Stortford) J Dunnell (Lowestoft) R Harris (Redruth) C Holland (North Hykeham) R Lester (Shrewsbury) A Piper (Truro) W Peacock (Ayr) M Smith, (Gravesend) D Sadler (Emsworth) C Taylor (Pontypridd) T Williamson (Droitwich) T Young (Chipping Norton)
The meeting also confirmed Honorary Life Membership on Pete Smith in recognition of his dedication and work for the BS Club Show and Dave Whittaker for his work and dedication on behalf of all aspects of the society.
The Silver Bird Award was awarded to Eric Peake, the renowned artist who has served the society so well with his great talent, not only with his brushes, etc but also with his gifts as a lecturer, after dinner speaker, knowledgeable fancier and ability to add a special lustre to any event in which he is involved. Unfortunately, he could not be present to receive the trophy in person but an alternative date will be found. Well done, Eric!
George Booth said that the society has three main sources of income - subscriptions, ring sales and sponsorship, on which it relies to meet office expenses plus publications and general expenses. The membership levels must still remain one of our top priorities and we must continue to look for initiatives to not only recruit new members to the society but also keep the ones that we already have.
He continued “ To this end the "Buy British" campaign that resulted in the printing of posters and cards and the creation of the "Pet Breeders" register on the Budgerigar Society website have met with some success, but we must all look at trying to find ways of encouraging new fanciers into the hobby and society and then working on making sure that it is a hobby that they find both friendly and rewarding and one that they wish to stay in.
The Club show. Due to the excellent work of our Show Manager, Dave Hislop and his hard working team, the Club shows resulted in another great weekend.
As most are aware, the General Council have made the decision to stay with a September date (although in 2010 & 2011 week number 39 will be the first weekend in October) for a further two years and have now made some quite considerable changes to the timetable of the show in an attempt to secure a significant increase in entries. Following this further two years trial, the date will then be reviewed again.
The Judges Panel & Colour Standards committee over the past couple of years has put in an enormous amount of work on up-dating the Colour Standards & Guidelines for Judges & Exhibitors, and all members should have received the Interim version. We welcome any comments on the contents before producing the final version, which will be further enhanced by good quality photographs, hopefully early in 2010.
The "Judges Day" was held it over two days this year, and I am pleased to be able to report that it proved to be a great success with only a very few members showing their displeasure with the new guidelines. Overall, the vast majority were very supportive of the guidelines - we look forward to them resulting in good quality birds, benched in excellent condition winning the major awards at the shows during the coming show season. My thanks go to the members of the Judges Panel & Colour Standards committee for organizing the day and especially Mick Freakley who contributed such an excellent presentation.
One of my first tasks as the new Chairman was to sign a new sponsorship agreement for two years with our sponsors, Cranswick PLC (Buck tons) and we as a society are very grateful to them for their generous and continued support that resulted in the society benefitting to the tune of £8001 last year.
The Convention Committee will be meeting in the very near future to look at organising the Convention, at Southport, next year. Already a number of top quality speakers have agreed to give presentations and booking forms will be enclosed with the next edition of the society magazine. I urge you all to attend the weekend if at all possible and hopefully enjoy another great (and sunny!) weekend in Southport.
We continue to produce six editions of the magazine, "The Budgerigar" each year which continues to attract many favourable comments on its quality and contents, and as your Editor, it would be remiss of me to not say a very sincere thank you to our Secretary, Dave Whittaker, for all his help and encouragement and of course our Publicity Officer, Dave Herring and our main photographers at the Club Show, Mick Freakley & Ray Brown, for all their very much valued help and support.
The magazine can of course only be as good as its contributors, and I offer everyone who has contributed in any way to its success a very sincere thank you on behalf of the society and its members.
It is now satisfying to look back on what I consider to be a very successful year for our society, but without the help and support of so many of the members of the General Council, especially those who have "sat" in this, sometimes rather hot seat in the past, the year could have been so different.
My very sincere thanks go to our Secretary, Dave Whittaker for all his untiring work on behalf of the society. No doubt the coming year will continue to throw up its challenges but I am sure that if we all pull together with the aim of promoting this great society and hobby we all love and get so much pleasure and satisfaction from, we will be able to look forward to another good and successful year”
Dave Whittaker reported that on membership that with 2896 at the end of there was a decrease of 75 from 2007 figures. At the end of April 2009 there were 2723 and there are still 383 members who have not renewed
Currently the take-up on the Veterinary Diagnostic Service is only 13%. 336 (446)
He commented that the Website continues to attract the majority of new members with more and more people using the facility to pay subs, order rings and sales items. Again the majority of Credit card transactions still come through the online ordering with less coming by fax. The problem with the Show results page on the site has now been resolved with the data now being displayed in date order, The show results for 2008 can now be printed off directly from the website, the 2006 results have been re-compiled and are available for printing.
The registration of Champion Birds has been added to the site, and it is pleasing to note that Clubs are making use of the Diary page and it is hoped that attendances at meetings/events have improved through the publicity. All shows receiving BS Patronage have been added to the Shows page as they come in and the Table of Week Numbers has now been updated.
Members are urged to submit any other ideas for the site to the BS office.
The office is still kept reasonably busy with many questions still coming from the nonmember sector "The Pet Breeder" and "Pet Keeper". Contact is made on a regular basis with the chairman via fax and phone. The production of 'The Budgerigar' is still very rewarding with many comments in favour of the publication. George Booth and Dave Herring do much of the work outside the office, with the advertising being looked after by the office. He expressed special thanks to George Booth who looks after the BS office while he goes on holiday.
Dave thanked Norma Phillips for re-working the patronage paperwork. Many societies have again taken up the option to have their show paperwork etc. on CD. Hopefully any anomalies with the paperwork will be rectified during the year. Patronage allocation list attached to this report.
Supplies of the Show Cage Drinker caused some problems during 2008 however having now sourced them in the UK direct from the manufacturer we will have continuity of supplies. I am currently looking to supply plastic drinkers dishes etc. I have had several enquiries from fanciers asking where they can buy this type of equipment now that Hampshire Books have disappeared from the scene. Sales for the first quarter are £3436 (£2235) (£1836), which is an increase of £1201 compared to 2008 figures; this increase is mainly due to the supply of drinkers. We have sold 500 drinkers to Holland and we have an enquiry from Australia. My thanks to George Booth, Roger Carr; Gren Norris who took the small display stands around the shows selling BS items etc.
1815 (1844) orders 115,177 (117,020) rings were dispatched on the 23rd December 2008 with most orders arriving within a few days. Once again very few problems were encountered.
Ring orders for the first quarter total 522 (596) (557) orders for 20,761 (24,153) (22,444) rings, which are down by 3,392 rings against the same period in 2008.
Bucktons. The changes made to the Breeder of the Year competition had the desired effect and were well received.
Finally, Dave thanked the President, Geoff Capes, Chairman, George Booth, Vice Chairman, Dave Hislop for their continued support and encouragement over the last twelve months, and to those General Councilors who have assisted in any way during that time.”
The Chairman announced the date of next year’s AGM as Sunday 9th May, thanked the members for their attendance and wished everyone a safe journey home.